World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is talking with state gambling regulators to allow fans to bet on its scripted matches.
- WWE has been discussing the legalization of betting on scripted matches with gambling regulators in Colorado and Michigan, with plans to expand soon.
- The wrestling company says it is working to secure match results to ensure they do not leak to the public by working with Ernst & Young (EY) and not informing wrestlers who will win until hours before the match.
- If regulators accept, fans can place bets on high-profile WWE matches on top sports betting apps.
Why it’s news
Sports betting is a huge market in the U.S., with consumers making $4.29 billion in revenue on $57.22 billion wagered in 2021. By 2025 revenue could pass $7 billion, according to estimates from Morgan Stanley.
Americans bet on various sports, from the basics, such as football and basketball, to more obscure sports, such as cornhole and darts. One sport that hasn’t made it to the betting ring—scripted wrestling.
WWE is famous for its scripted matches that bring in an average of 4 million viewers, according to Bleacher Report. The matches having a set winner has stopped the U.S. from allowing fans to bet on the sport as it makes it easier for them to find out the winner, and many states do not allow bets on events with fixed or predicted outcomes.
If gambling regulators allow WWE to have bets placed upon its fixed outcomes, this could open the door for bets on other programs with pre-calculated endings, such as certain award shows and TV programs.
No comment has yet been made by WWE or gambling regulators.
Future sale of WWE
The company could potentially have a new owner as current owner Vince McMahon is looking to sell WWE.
McMahon reportedly wants $9 billion for the business, which is $2.5 billion greater than the company’s market value of $6.5 billion, according to the value of its stock, which is publicly traded.
McMahon is the company’s controlling shareholder and reinstated himself as executive chairman to review the company and oversee the possible sale.
There have been offers for the company, and potential buyers include the owner of another popular wrestling group, the UFC, and sports investors from the Middle East, which have also been investing in soccer and golf.